A replacement for the black and white stripes of the traditional barcode has been outlined by US researchers.
Bokodes, as they are known, can hold thousands of times more information than their striped cousins and can be read by a standard mobile phone camera.
The 3mm-diameter (0.1 inches), powered tags could be used to encode nutrition information on food packaging or create new devices for playing video games.
The work will be shown off at Siggraph, a conference in New Orleans next week.
“We think that our technology will create a new way of tagging,” Dr Ankit Mohan, one of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers behind the work, told BBC News.